Good eats, drinks and company

The major selling point for most events is whether or not there will be food, but don’t worry. Eating and drinking is a given at these festivals.

Photo courtesy of Great County Farms
Apple Gala and Cider Fest
Every weekend in September, 11 a.m.

During the fall season, head to Great Country Farms to pick apples right off the branch. Then watch a demonstration of pressing cider with an antique cider press from 1865. Sample the fresh cider along with cider doughnuts, and afterward, visitors can meet the animals that live on the farm. Admission is $10 for children and $12 for adults. // Great Country Farms, Bluemont

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
Oct. 6-8, 6-9 p.m.

Enjoy live blues music on the bank of the Potomac River while sipping wines from over 20 Virginia wineries at the historic home of the nation’s Founding Father. Cheese and fruit plates will be available for $29.99. Guests will also be able to go on an evening tour of the Washingtons’ home and are invited to visit the basement, where George Washington stored his wine. Tickets for the tour and tastings range from $36 to $48. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon

Photo courtesy of The Trigger Agency, Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival
The Pumpkining Brew Fest
Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

This festival centers on a fall staple: the pumpkin. The focus is on pumpkin beer at this event, with over 20 breweries expected to participate. There will also be activities for the whole family to enjoy such as a kiddie carnival and live music throughout the whole day with bands such as Cabin Creek and Acoustic Onion. // Riverfront Park, Fredericksburg

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Oct. 7, VIP Bacon and Whole Hog session noon-2 p.m., regular session 2-6 p.m.

Spend the day drinking bourbon, eating barbecue and enjoying live music at this touring festival. For the price of admission, visitors will receive a souvenir glass to sample up to 40 different bourbons and 60 different beers. The plethora of barbecue will feature pulled pork, brisket, sausages and more along with a variety of sides with large portions and low prices. Tickets range from $39 to $80, and VIP packages are available. // Village at Leesburg

American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour
Oct. 8, 5-8 p.m.

At Hope Farm, spend an evening learning about the floral industry while enjoying an artisanal farm-to-table dinner. Along with a floral arrangement demonstration by flower designer-turned-flower farmer Holly Chapple, guests will also be able to take a tour of the historic farm. Tickets are $175 for the whole experience. // Hope Farms, Waterford

Loudoun Wine Awards
Oct. 13, 6 p.m.

Spend the evening celebrating the 40-plus wineries in Loudoun County and their respective wines. Find out who will win the coveted Chairman’s Award, the Winemaker of the Year as well as the Winegrower of the Year. Follow the awards ceremony with a tasting of the winning wines and a reception complete with a gourmet dinner. Tickets start at $80 for the night. // Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg

Taste of Annandale
Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The third year of this festival kicks off with a 5K race in the morning before fare from local restaurants and food trucks will be sold all day long. Along with the variety of eats and a chili cook-off, there will be entertainment like aerial dancing from Monarca in Flight, music from the Blue Book Value Band, dancing from Tamure Ataata and more. The event is free for anyone to attend. // Tom Davis Drive, Annandale

Photo courtesy of The Trigger Agency, Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival
42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival
Oct. 14-15

Sample the array of wines and ciders available from Virginia wineries such as Jefferson Vineyards, The Williamsburg Winery, Narmada Winery and more. Along with local eateries like DC Slices and The Big Cheese, the festival is also introducing an Oyster Pavilion for the first time this year, where freshly shucked oysters and various seafood dishes will be available for purchase. Tickets to the festival range from $35 to $65 and include a tasting glass with unlimited samplings of wines and ciders. // Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria

53rd Annual Aldie Harvest Festival
Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

There is something for everyone at this annual festival. Kids can enjoy games or jumping in a moon bounce while adults enjoy wine tastings and craft beer. Food trucks will line the streets, keeping guests fed with local fare. The Historic Aldie Mill will also be open and ready for milling. The festival closes with the annual Duck Race, where a guest can purchase a rubber duck to be released into the Aldie River and race for a chance to win prizes up to $1,000. Admission into the festival is free. // Aldie Mill Historic Park, Aldie

(October 2017)